Brandon Horine’s first day at work removing shingles from a residential roof in Nampa, Idaho, was also his last. Without required fall-protection equipment in place, the 42-year-old worker fell to the ground on Sept. 12, 2016 – suffering severe brain trauma that ended his life several days later.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the circumstances surrounding Mr. Horine’s death. OSHA authorities found his employer, RP Construction, had violated critical safety rules on the job site, which likely jeopardized Mr. Horine’s life.
According to OSHA, RP Construction failed to ensure its workers used fall-protection equipment, and failed to train new workers before they tore off old roof shingles and installed new ones. OSHA sad these violations are “an all-too-common occurrence.”
“The number of employers in Idaho’s residential construction industry that consistently fail to protect their workers from falls hazards is very troubling,” said David Kearns, OSHA’s area director in Boise. “Brandon Horine’s death is a tragic reminder of what happens when employers do nothing to protect their workers.”
Mr. Kearns went on to say that ‘Employers must stop gambling with workers’ lives and change the way they operate before an OSHA inspection or before another worker dies needlessly.”
The agency proposed fines of $13,971 for the violations and gave RP Construction 15 business days to comply with the citations, refute them, or request a conference with an OSHA official to discuss the violations.
Falls account for nearly 40 percent of all deaths in the construction industry, making them the deadliest hazards in one of the most deadly industries. Tragically, falls are completely preventable when the proper safety measures are taken. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.